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Turn Your Piano Into A Player
"It's like having a concert performed live in your own home," says Donald Barton, sales representative for Pianocorder, a new kit that converts any piano to a computer-controlled, cassette-playing "player piano" that you can still play as a regular piano.
"The system was first introduced about three years ago but was shelved because of problems. Superscope bought the rights to it and spent more time developing it. Now, we have a system that's ready to go," Barton told FARM SHOW.
Here's how it works:
You drop a computer-programmed tape into the special casette recorder mounted right on the piano. Information on the tape is transferred to a solid state computer decoder. It, in turn, relays signals to a series of solenoids that control a series of connecting rods just below the piano keys in the base of the instrument. The rods move upward, actually striking the back of the keys with the same action that would result from striking keys on the keyboard, and an identical sound results. Similar rods control the piano's pedals.
"It doesn't affect operation of your piano in any way," explains Barton. "It's just a way to get more use out of it and hear some of the greatest muscians playing your favorite music.
"When you play a tape, the computer tells the rods how soft or how hard the keys should be played, and how slow or how fast. And, it tells them how long to hold the keys," Barton points out.
You can also record yourself playing the piano. Just reverse the Pianocorder system to detect your own touch and interpretation on the keys.
At present, more than 300 tapes containing some 3000 selections, ranging from classical to popular to jazz, are available.
The Pianocorder kit can be installed on any piano - old or new, upright or grand - so long as it's in good working order. Skilled technicians do the installation. No on-going maintenance is required, although you may have to tune your piano more often because, with the kit, it will be played more often.
System cost, installed, is around $1,800.
For more information, and the name of the nearest dealer, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Donald Barton, R. J. Leonard & Sons, 1304 East 24th St., Minneapolis, Minn, 55404 (ph 612 729-0090, or 7291745).

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1979 - Volume #3, Issue #6